Author Topic: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?  (Read 746 times)

apl68

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2020, 08:05:11 AM »
Not a word, but a word-form-- in the mountain west (and maybe elsewhere, I don't know) you still sometimes hear "store boughten" (rather than "bought) as the opposite of home-made. It's not the sort of things you'd normally see written, except maybe as dialog, and I've never heard the archaic form boughten used anywhere except in that phrase.

I grew up an Air Force brat with North Dakotan parents, and "boughten" was what we said. I had to train it out of my vocabulary (just like I had to learn to pronounce "bag" or "flag" with a short 'a' rather than "bay-g" or "flay-g"). I suspect there's a correlation between people who use "boughten" and those who put "with" at the end of sentences with "come" ("you gonna stay here, or are you gonna come with?").

Interesting-- I wonder what the "boughten" zone is? I'm guessing Dakotas west as far as eastern Washington and Oregon, but really have no idea.
Reminds me of the NYT dialect quiz, which is still available to play around with: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/dialect-quiz-map.html

More than just that.  I'd always associated the word with the hill country of Arkansas, Missouri, and Appalachia.  This thread is the first I've heard of it out west.  You learn something new every day!

Treehugger

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2020, 07:21:37 AM »
Well, I heard back from my French language pal about the mystery word, which turned out to be “coaltar.” So, sorry, nobody could have possibly guessed that given my origin explanation.

Here is her explanation:

Quote
Remember about the french expression we talked about? I found the correct way to write it : "Je suis dans le coaltar." The coaltar is a tar used to build the roads. If one inhale its toxic steams, one can be dizzy, confused, etc. I had no idea where the expression came from. I've just learned that thanks to you!   


Parasaurolophus

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2020, 07:42:50 AM »
Well, I heard back from my French language pal about the mystery word, which turned out to be “coaltar.” So, sorry, nobody could have possibly guessed that given my origin explanation.

Here is her explanation:

Quote
Remember about the french expression we talked about? I found the correct way to write it : "Je suis dans le coaltar." The coaltar is a tar used to build the roads. If one inhale its toxic steams, one can be dizzy, confused, etc. I had no idea where the expression came from. I've just learned that thanks to you!   


Wow. Nobody could ever have guessed!

Surely l'académie must be having conniptions. I know the OQLF would, if the term ever made it to our shores.
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2020, 07:56:15 AM »
In French, there's that "Boouf" sound, said with a pout, that has to be heard to be understood.

M.

Heh. We say bof in Québec, too. We also have the shrug.


I realized that I think I have one from Quebequois French.

"Bain non" or "bain oui".  (Then vowel sound is basically a short "e", and it helps if you kind of draw it out, and maybe even do a bit of a shrug to indicate that it's kind of obvious.)

In trying to look it up, here's what I found.

Sample usage:

"Aimez vous les choix pour President?"

"Bain, non!"

Your link has it right: it's usually rendered 'ben', and is contracted from 'bien'.

Here's one that's Québec-specific and rhymes with 'ben', however: ouin ("yeah"). Francos outside Québec typically say 'ouais' (or 'oui', obvs). But the 'ouin' is all QC. Chus (je suis--I am) and y'est (il est--he is/it is), too.

There's lots of other fun ones that leave other Francos scratching their heads: sontait, assir, barrer, jaser, magasiner, clavarder, achaler, binnes, bobettes, cotteur, foufounes, gazer, tigidou, etc.

I guess none of those quite satisfy the requirement that they exist in spoken but not written language, though. They're sufficiently widespread that everyday informal writing uses them all the time.
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marshwiggle

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2020, 08:05:39 AM »
In French, there's that "Boouf" sound, said with a pout, that has to be heard to be understood.

M.

Heh. We say bof in Québec, too. We also have the shrug.


I realized that I think I have one from Quebequois French.

"Bain non" or "bain oui".  (Then vowel sound is basically a short "e", and it helps if you kind of draw it out, and maybe even do a bit of a shrug to indicate that it's kind of obvious.)

In trying to look it up, here's what I found.

Sample usage:

"Aimez vous les choix pour President?"

"Bain, non!"

Your link has it right: it's usually rendered 'ben', and is contracted from 'bien'.

Here's one that's Québec-specific and rhymes with 'ben', however: ouin ("yeah"). Francos outside Québec typically say 'ouais' (or 'oui', obvs). But the 'ouin' is all QC. Chus (je suis--I am) and y'est (il est--he is/it is), too.

There's lots of other fun ones that leave other Francos scratching their heads: sontait, assir, barrer, jaser, magasiner, clavarder, achaler, binnes, bobettes, cotteur, foufounes, gazer, tigidou, etc.

When we watched "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" with relatives from France, they elected to watch "in English" (i.e. with French subtitles) rather than "in French" (i.e. with English subtitles) because they found Québequois too confusing. (They're fairly bilingual.)


 
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2020, 08:21:44 AM »


When we watched "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" with relatives from France, they elected to watch "in English" (i.e. with French subtitles) rather than "in French" (i.e. with English subtitles) because they found Québequois too confusing. (They're fairly bilingual.)

Hehe, that's great!

I have two Franco accents/dialects--Liégois, and joual (well, three, technically, since I can shed the joual for more proper Québecois). One comes from my family, the other(s) from my stepfamily. When I visit family in Belgium, I usually use their accent. They invariably ask me to use my "beautiful" joual dialect, though, because they find their own confusion pretty amusing.
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marshwiggle

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2020, 08:30:59 AM »


When we watched "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" with relatives from France, they elected to watch "in English" (i.e. with French subtitles) rather than "in French" (i.e. with English subtitles) because they found Québequois too confusing. (They're fairly bilingual.)

Hehe, that's great!

I have two Franco accents/dialects--Liégois, and joual (well, three, technically, since I can shed the joual for more proper Québecois). One comes from my family, the other(s) from my stepfamily. When I visit family in Belgium, I usually use their accent. They invariably ask me to use my "beautiful" joual dialect, though, because they find their own confusion pretty amusing.

When I was talking with a guy in a laundromat in Paris, he guessed my accent was Belgian before I told him I was Canadian. I was pleased that he didn't automatically recognize that I was a native English speaker.
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mamselle

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2020, 10:49:45 AM »
When I've been visiting my cousin in Liege for a week (as I often do first when over-the-pond) or Strasbourg, and then go to Paris, people ask me if I'm German. (I take it as a compliment. Much rather be mistaken for another Euro than for an American, I always figure)...

I guess I must pick up a bit of the German/Alsatian/Liegois inflection while I'm there; apparently, I've shed it within a week or so, because the questions stop after that.

But I haven't yet figured out Wallonais (which my cousin still speaks with friends, vestigially--they laugh a lot, trying to remember some of the words--it was the language their parents spoke when they didn't want the kids to know what they were saying--so, of course, the kids figured a lot of it out...).

And I've had to do tours for bus-fulls of folks from Nova Scotia, as well as Quebec; I usually get about every third word, but they think that's wonderful, that someone is trying, and are very accommodating about it--usually they get to me after a week of tooling around elsewhere, so maybe they don't get such efforts before they reach me.

I always finish those tours thinking I need to find a YouTube course in Joual and sit through a few lessons, just to get the hang of it.

For the moment, of course, all that's suspended, so it's a project for a later time.

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fourhats

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2020, 12:15:05 PM »
Does anyone listen to "Word for the Wise"? I love that show. I used to hear it on public radio, but now I download podcasts of it to listen to when I'm out for a walk. It takes listeners' calls and questions just like the ones posted here, and fills in the origins of words and phrases, and also the regions where they're used. I'm often surprised by regionalisms, especially generational ones.

mamselle

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2020, 08:58:53 PM »
I think a friend used to listen to something like that on NPR, but it might have been called something else.

It is indeed absorbing.

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Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Hibush

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2020, 06:06:56 AM »


When we watched "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" with relatives from France, they elected to watch "in English" (i.e. with French subtitles) rather than "in French" (i.e. with English subtitles) because they found Québequois too confusing. (They're fairly bilingual.)

Hehe, that's great!

I have two Franco accents/dialects--Liégois, and joual (well, three, technically, since I can shed the joual for more proper Québecois). One comes from my family, the other(s) from my stepfamily. When I visit family in Belgium, I usually use their accent. They invariably ask me to use my "beautiful" joual dialect, though, because they find their own confusion pretty amusing.

A Quebecker labmate of mine told me that Joual (I have not seen the spelling before) is derived from cheval, and was applied to the language because Quebec francophones ate horsemeat. True, or a bunch of horse***t?

fourhats

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Re: Words that exist almost entirely in spoken, not written language?
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2020, 07:48:21 AM »
Quote
I think a friend used to listen to something like that on NPR, but it might have been called something else.

Yes, that's the same one--I originally found it on NPR, and used to listen regularly before I moved and switched to the podcast.